Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.
network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...
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The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
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Friday, January 05, 2007
Quote of the day
Time travel got us out of this mess, time travel can damn well get us back in!
-The Covert Comic
(Our favorite spook also notes that, as you can see from the time-image he smuggled back in his 8-track tape player, for the most part the future is exactly like we predicted it would be.)
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Thank heavens he can't read
By James Gordon Meek
New York Daily News
WASHINGTON - President Bush has quietly claimed sweeping new powers to open Americans' mail without a judge's warrant, the New York Daily News has learned.
The president asserted his new authority when he signed a postal reform bill into law on Dec. 20. Bush then issued a "signing statement" that declared his right to open people's mail under emergency conditions.
That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it. [why is this not surprising?-KGB]
Bush's move came during the winter congressional recess and a year after his secret domestic electronic eavesdropping program was first revealed. It caught Capitol Hill by surprise.
"Despite the president's statement that he may be able to circumvent a basic privacy protection, the new postal law continues to prohibit the government from snooping into people's mail without a warrant," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the incoming House Government Reform Committee chairman, who co-sponsored the bill.
Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.
"The (Bush) signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming," said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington.
"The danger is they're reading Americans' mail," she said.
"You have to be concerned," agreed a career senior U.S. official who reviewed the legal underpinnings of Bush's claim. "It takes Executive Branch authority beyond anything we've ever known."
A top Senate Intelligence Committee aide promised, "It's something we're going to look into." [Nice to know they're right on top of things. It only took them two weeks.-KGB]
Most of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act deals with mundane reform measures. But it also explicitly reinforced protections of first-class mail from searches without a court's approval. [Ever notice that under the current Administration, the actual intent of a bill is the opposite of its title?-KGB]
Yet in his statement Bush said he will "construe" an exception, "which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection in a manner consistent... with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances." [construe: to give the meaning or intention of; explain; interpret. Oh yeah. He's really good at that. Like how he knew we'd be welcomed as liberators in Iraq. Like how Brownie was doing a heckuva job. Exigent: requiring a great deal, or more than is reasonable. Forget about the meaning. Does anyone really believe Dubya even knows the meaning of the word exigent? -KGB]
Bush cited as examples the need to "protect human life and safety against hazardous materials and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection."
White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore denied Bush was claiming any new authority.
"In certain circumstances- such as with the proverbial 'ticking bomb'- the Constitution does not require warrants for reasonable searches," she said.
Bush, however, cited "exigent circumstances" which could refer to an imminent danger or a longstanding state of emergency.
Critics point out the administration could quickly get a warrant from a criminal court or a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge to search targeted mail, and the Postal Service could block delivery in the meantime.
But the Bush White House appears to be taking no chances on a judge saying no while a terror attack is looming, national security experts agreed.
Martin said that Bush is "using the same legal reasoning to justify warrantless opening of domestic mail" as he did with warrantless eavesdropping.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Headline of the day
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The email@example.com e-mail address is now something other than firstname.lastname@example.org saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used email@example.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that firstname.lastname@example.org was no longer email@example.com but rather firstname.lastname@example.org which is longer than email@example.com and more letters to type than firstname.lastname@example.org and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than email@example.com but actually just as functional as firstname.lastname@example.org? I sent e-mails from the email@example.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used firstname.lastname@example.org in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the email@example.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which firstname.lastname@example.org was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for email@example.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that firstname.lastname@example.org no longer is the email@example.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. firstname.lastname@example.org. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
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